Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
IRP is a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to producing and disseminating rigorous evidence to inform policies and programs to combat poverty, inequality, and their effects in the United States. We do this through the orchestration of a national research, training, and dissemination agenda (see our resources and events pages) grounded in extensive collaboration among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.
The Institute was created in 1966 with funding from the federal government to serve as a national center for the study of the nature, causes, and cures of poverty. We function as an independent, multidisciplinary center within the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
IRP’s ongoing success stems from our ability to:
- build, support, and develop a large and collaborative core of poverty scholars from multiple disciplines;
- produce and promote rigorous, diverse, and interdisciplinary poverty research;
- facilitate wide-ranging linkages to the policy and practice world; and
- distill, translate, and widely disseminate applied poverty and policy research.
Specifically, our integrated program of research, training, and dissemination effectively produces and applies research evidence on key policy questions and rigorously trains researchers in a variety of disciplines by leveraging IRP’s exceptional affiliates and research and administrative staff; our U.S. Collaborative of Poverty Centers (CPC) partner institutions and thematic Research Networks of scholars, policymakers, and practitioners; long-standing connections with researchers and research institutions in academia, government, and the nonprofit and for-profit sectors; and experience working collaboratively with policymakers, practitioners, and their membership organizations.
IRP currently serves as the sole federally funded National Poverty Research Center through a 5-year (2016–2021), $9.5 million cooperative agreement with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).